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All square in Eagles final pre-season match of 2020


Sheffield Eagles rounded-off their 2020 pre-season with a tightly-contested match in West Yorkshire.

The Eagles travelled to Keighley after opening their 2020 pre-season with an 18-36 away win against Doncaster, to claim back the South Yorkshire Cup.

This week, scores from Zack McComb, Josh Guzdek and James Davey earned the Eagles a draw against the Cougars, who impressed with three tries of their own.

Rhys Lovegrove's side opened the scoring 10 minutes in.

On the last tackle play, a kick-through from the Cougars was met by Taylor Prell who dived on the ball to score.

Ben Hardcastle converted from the left-hand-side.

On 18 minutes Lewis Wray was sent to the sin-bin following handbags from both sides and the Eagles immediately took advantage of the extra man.

An Eagles overlap made space for Zack McComb to dance over the line for his third score in two games, Izaac Farrell was handed the kicking duties and converted the first Eagles score.

It was a score apiece at half time but the drama kicked-in after the interval.

From the restart a silky run from former Eagle Louis Sheriff ended with the full-back spending 10 minutes in the bin, Sheriff chose to lead into the tackle with his elbow and was rightly penalised.

The 12 men then took the lead, Prell intercepted Josh Guzdek's pass and despite an Eagles chase he was left to score underneath the sticks for his second of the game with Hardcastle converting from in front.

Josh Guzdek returned to Cougar Park with the Eagles, this followed a short and successful loan stint in 2015 and he showed the home supporters what they were missing out on.

Corey Makelim's short ball picked out the former Dewsbury man who rounded the Keighley defence at pace, Farrell again converted with ease.

The Cougars hit back quickly after but good defensive work from Sheffield kept-out Matt Welham, who knocked-on.

The hosts regained their lead minutes later, with Hardcastle, who was influential throughout chipping the ball through before a Sheffield defender played at it, Welham passed to Steven Hayes who sprinted 35 metres to score,

Hardcastle made it three from the tee to stretch-out the Keighley advantage.

With just over five minutes remaining, the Eagles drew level, from the scrum the ball was worked out wide for James Davey to dive over on his first appearance for Sheffield in 2020.

Izaac Farrell showed composure to slot over the conversion from a difficult angle as the score was levelled.

The Eagles thought they had a winner when Menzie Yere raced through, though the referee deemed that there was forward pass in the build-up.

The drama wasn't finished there, Billy Gaylor hit the upright with an ambitious drop goal, the ball then rebounded out before going through the legs of Eagles winger Rob Worrincy, thankfully for Sheffield, the tackle was made before the Cougars could pounce for a crucial score.

Next week the Eagles travel to The Shay Stadium for Round 1 of the Betfred Championship as Halifax host the South Yorkshire side.

By Lewis Coleman